Celestial Event Comes to Life for DCSD Students - Both indoors and outdoors
Students across DCSD had the opportunity to watch Monday’s nationwide celestial event. “We are so excited, here at Timber Trail, for the solar eclipse today. We know this a once in a lifetime event for most of us, and we are so excited that we can share it with our students, said Michele Radke, principal at Timber Trail Elementary.
For some students it was on large screens as images were livestreamed from Oregon or Wyoming and for others it was outside on the grassy lawn with NASA-approved solar glasses.
“We are just so excited about this today,” said Sid Rundle, Cresthill Middle School Principal while addressing his student body. “Hey guys, look, the moon is just started to pass through the sun’s path. Do you know what that means? You are all being mooned right now.”
Hundreds of seventh and eighth graders, along with all staff from inside the school spread across the school’s football and watched as a musical playlist celebrating nature’s wonder played in the background.
“I think this is a great event. It’s an incredible thing about science. It’s really cool. I really enjoy that we all got to come out and see this, not everyone has this opportunity,” said Nick, an eighth-grader at Cresthill Middle School.
Students at eDCSD used their creative juices to create eclipse artwork before heading out to view the big event. “These students will be adults when the next solar eclipse happens,” said Jennifer Bruns, K-6 Math, Science and Social Studies Teacher, “this is our chance to explain to them why this event is so important.”
Cimarron Middle School’s Coltcast broadcast team partnered with Highlands Ranch High School to bring an up close look at the Eclipse over the internet. “We had an incredible opportunity to collaborate with Bob MacArthur, a science teacher at HRHS, and fuse his expertise in astronomy with the Cimarron crew's broadcasting skills,” said CMS media teacher Scott Melanson.
Other schools Like Flagstone Elementary spent time working inside watching the event and using hands-on science experiments to help explain what was taking place outside.
Sedalia Elementary teachers took the rare opportunity to provide a diverse array of educational activities for students. Cameras recorded and captured time-lapse photos of the chickens the school keeps on its grounds in order to observe their behavior during the eclipse. Sedalia’s new principal, Jeff Johnson, immediately observed that the chickens retreated to their coops as the sky gradually became darker, and then as the sky became brighter the roosters crowed. Students will study the recordings in the days following the eclipse.
“What’s interesting is how excited the kids are about this,” Johnson said. “They’re using great vocabulary as they talk about it and they’re connecting it to lessons they had last week about it. It’s been pretty amazing.”
Castle View High School students watched the eclipse with their friends during lunch. Some decided to lay on the grass and watch while others made it more scientific and used some of their homemade viewing apparatus.
At Castle Rock Middle School, kids were all gathered in the back with teachers - one teacher shouted melodically, "It's only cool because its math!" The school had hundreds of glasses they were sharing with students, handing them out at the door to students who wanted to spend time watching and discussing the science behind the event.
Children were lined up waiting patiently to view the eclipse through a telescope with viewing glasses attached to it at Larkspur Elementary. Other kids were on the playground watching with their glasses and talking about it with teachers.
At Bear Canyon Elementary School, some studnets went outside to watch the solar eclipse. Teacher Deborah Charlton organized a number of activities for the students including charting the progress of the sun and temperatures changes. Students in Charlton's class also wore bracelets made from thermal beads, which provided a visual reminder of the temperature shifts.
Students at Highlands Ranch High School celebrated with a Solar Fair and got the chance to visit several science sessions to learn about the eclipse. In one session students and staff even got to see a dissected pig’s eye to fully understand how the eye works and the impacts of staring at the sun directly.
At Heritage Elementary, sixth-graders worked on their scientific research projects and studied the different phases of the eclipse and made scientific observations during the event.
In a day full of learning, kids embraced the change from the typical school day and celebrated!
“Just watching their faces light up is what it is all about,” said Rundle.